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Posts Tagged ‘Request for Proposals’

Midland Beach Site Opportunity Diagram

The site in Midland Beach includes the Foundations for Six Amusement Rides. March 13, 2014. NYC Parks Department

In January, NY Carousel Entertainment and Big Mark’s Action Park were among the amusement park operators eyeing Staten Island’s beachfronts when the City released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) that mentioned rides as well as carnivals and stall-based amusements. Last week, the Parks Department followed up by issuing an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the development and operation of a Children’s Amusement Park as well as the operation of mobile food units and souvenir carts in Midland Beach, with a 12-year term.

Midland Beach’s 2.5-mile boardwalk and beach area extends southeast from Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field’s Gateway Recreational Area. The proposed site is located on Father Capodanno Blvd. between Seaview Ave. and Sand Lane, and includes concrete foundations for six rides. A diagram shows the pads occupied by a carousel, magic castle, sky glider, mini airport and spinning teacups circled by a trackless train, though these are just examples. There’s also a pad for a concession building with attached public restrooms, which are under construction.

Souvenir Booth, Midland Beach

Vintage Postcard: The Souvenir Booth, Midland Beach, Staten Island, N.Y. Collection Milstein Division, New York Public Library

The RFP does not say when the park is expected to open, but a proposer meeting and site tour is set for March 28, with a due date for proposals of April 16th. To download the RFP, visit the Parks Department’s Concessions Opportunities page.

Midland Beach, just south of South Beach, once had hotels, beer gardens, bathing pavilions, theaters, carousels, Ferris wheels and other amusements. Vintage postcards in the New York Public Library show a variety of entertainments, including trapeze performances, boxing exhibitions and a Whip ride.

UPDATE June 25, 2014

Fantasy Shore Amusement Park in Midland Beach opened on June 28th with four rides: Tea Cups, Train, Frog Hopper and a mini-roller coaster christened the Verrazano Viper. Fantasy Shore is run by NY Carousel Entertainment, which also operates Fantasy Forest Amusement Park at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens.

The Whip at Midland Beach

Vintage Postcard: Everybody Rides the The Whip at Midland Beach, Staten Island. Collection Milstein Division, New York Public Library

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June 25, 2014: Amusement Rides Return to Staten Island’s Beachfront

March 10, 2014: High Hopes for Coney Island’s New Thunderbolt Coaster

March 5, 2014: RFP for Operator of Battery Park’s SeaGlass Carousel

January 20, 2014: Amusement Park Operators Eye Return to Staten Island Beachfront

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SeaGlass Carousel

SeaGlass Carousel. Courtesy Battery Park Conservancy

A unique carousel celebrating the history of the Battery as the first home of the New York Aquarium, which opened in 1896, is almost set to spin. After a decade of fundraising and construction, the Battery Conservancy issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the operation and maintenance of the SeaGlass Carousel along with food and merchandise carts in Manhattan’s Battery Park. There will be a recommended proposer meeting on March 11, with a due date for proposals on April 14th. To download the RFP, visit http://www.thebattery.org.

Designed to simulate a dive to the bottom of the sea, the carousel features iridescent fish set on four moving turntables within a nautilus shell structure. “Combined with swivel and the up-and-down motions of the fish mounted on these turntables, these various systems generate up to 25 axes of motion…swimming indeed,” according to the RFP.

SeaGlass Carousel was conceived and designed by WXY Architecture + Urban Design and their engineering teams, George Tsypin Opera Factory and Show Canada. The $16 million dollar project was funded with a combination of public and private funds.

Upon the opening of the carousel in 2014 and the Battery Garden Bikeway in 2015, over 90% of the park’s rebuilding will be complete. One of New York’s oldest parks, dating back to 1693, Battery Park was once home to the New York Aquarium, which was located in Castle Clinton from 1896 until 1941. The SeaGlass Carousel is expected to operate 7 days a week, year-round.

The Battery Conservancy’s original vision for the park’s redo included working with the New York Aquarium at Coney Island to develop a ferry link from the Battery waterfront to a dock near the aquarium. In 2007, then City Councilman Alan Gerson, whose district included Battery Park, told the New York Sun, “I would like to get the job done during the next fiscal year, especially now that Coney Island is being rebuilt.”

The NYCEDC commissioned a Coney Island Ferry Feasibility Study focusing on three potential ferry pier locations to be built or refurbished in Coney Island: Steeplechase Pier, West 8th Street and a location in Coney Island Creek, but Coney Island was not among the prioritized sites in the NYCEDC’s 2013 Citywide Ferry Study. Friends of Coney Island Creek Ferry Landing + Park, a group advocating for a recreational ferry link between Coney Island and The Battery, held a test run last June.

UPDATE August 19, 2015:

Ten years in the making, the much-anticipated SeaGlass Carousel at Battery Park will open to the public on Thursday, August 20th, from 1pm till midnight. NY Carousel was selected to operate the ride. ATZ’s report, including photos and video of the carousel’s inaugural spin at yesterday’s press preview, is here.

New York Aquarium in Castle Clinton

May 31, 1934 aerial image of the New York Aquarium, then located at Castle Clinton in Battery Park, during a Navy visit to New York City. Photo via NYC Parks Department

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January 20, 2014: Amusement Park Operators Eye Return to Staten Island Beachfront

August 22, 2013: In Memoriam: Carousel & Amusement Park Operator Jimmy McCullough

May 26, 2013: A Portrait of Abe Lincoln on Coney Island’s B&B Carousell

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Tornado Roller Coaster

Vintage postcard of the 1926 Tornado Roller Coaster, also known as The Bobs, on Stillwell Avenue East, Coney Island

News that the landmark Childs Building on the Boardwalk will be developed into a music venue brings the delightful prospect of Coney’s amusement area extending all the way from 21st Street to the soon-to-be-renovated to the tune of $150 million New York Aquarium on West 8th. An RFP to develop and operate amusements on a narrow City-owned lot at 15th Street makes it likely that Coney Island will get a major roller coaster as well.

The Coney Island Rumor Mill has been saying for months that Luna Park operator and ride manufacturer Zamperla was designing a brand-new coaster for Coney with some claiming to have seen the design. When Italian Wired asked Alberto Zamperla over the summer what his company was secretly working on, he mentioned only a super coaster inspired by the sci-fi Western “Cowboys & Aliens” as well as an interactive water attraction to be built in Coney Island before being sold around the world.

Will the new amusements on 15th Street pay tribute to any of Coney Island’s famed coasters of the past? We’d love to see an homage to the Tornado, aka “The Bobs,” which is pictured above. The 1926 thriller was a complex ride built on a narrow lot on Stillwell Avenue East and had an array of other rides, games, sideshows and restaurants beneath it. What more could we ask for in Coney Island? It’s time to bring out ATZ’s big wish list. This is actually the first of a series of posts since the list is a bit longer than we anticipated!

When a $168 million, 26-acre surf park was planned for Randall’s Island several years ago, our first thought was they should be building it in Coney Island. A year-round surf venue in Coney would attract surfers and spectators, residents and tourists alike. Then the project fell through due to funding problems and technology flaws. Over the past two years, new surf parks and surf pools are once again in the news, thanks to innovations in artificial wave surfing.

Next year, the first indoor surf park in the US will open in Nashua, New Hampshire featuring what American Wave Machine Inc. describes as the world’s largest standing wave surfing machine. The all-season surfing venue will have a retractable glass roof, glass walls for spectator viewing, surfside lounging area and a cafe. Last year in Lima, Peru, the company debuted the world’s first surf arena at La Ola Movistar SurfStream, which visitors from the US in the above vid describe as “The closest thing to surfing outside of the ocean yet. If I was a kid I would not leave this thing.” Promo vids of special events at the arena show world-class surfers competing in contests while rock bands play poolside. Build it and they will come to Coney!

Silverball Pinball Museum

Silverball Pinball Museum Arcade, Asbury Park Boardwalk, NJ. May 1, 2011. Photo © Tricia Vita

Coney Island once had dozens of year-round arcades, now there are just a few open seasonally. Meanwhile in California, Las Vegas, Baltimore, and on the Jersey Shore, pinball museums have become local gathering places and year-round tourist destinations. The Asbury Park Boardwalk is making a comeback and part of the allure is the bells, buzzers and flashing lights of pinball. The Silver Ball Museum Arcade and Pinball Hall of Fame boasts the top 200 machines from the electromechanical wonders of the 1930s and ’40s up to the solid state electronic games of today.

When we visited Silver Ball last year, owner and pinball machine collector Rob Ilvento explained: “Every game you’re playing at the museum was the top game of that year. Six thousand titles were made, like everything else some games are fun some aren’t. If the operators couldn’t make money, the manufacturer would stop making it, so it may make it rare but it doesn’t necessarily make it collectible. The ones that I put in the museum are not only collectible but have a fun factor when you play.”

Signage above the machines narrates the history of pinball and the stories of the individual games. Patrons pay $10 for a one hour pass, $20 to play all day and $25 for a family of six on a Sunday night. The museum also hosts parties, weddings, fundraisers and pinball tournaments.

Coney Island is famous as the place where the hot dog was invented and the roller coaster was perfected. Coney is less well known as the place where William F. Mangels invented the Whip since the ride doesn’t operate here anymore though it thrives elsewhere. The same thing can be said for the game of Fascination and Frozen Custard, among other Coney Island originals. Why not bring them back for people to enjoy once again, perhaps in a special section of the revitalized Coney devoted to historic rides and attractions?

In Margate, England, the Dreamland Trust is creating the world’s first heritage amusement park with a 1914 Whip, a 1920s Caterpillar and other rides collected from around the UK, as well as their park’s original 1920 Scenic Railway, the oldest of its kind in Britain. “Work is now underway to reinstate Dreamland as one of the UK’s best-loved amusement parks with a heritage story to tell,” according to the website of the £10m park, which is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, the UK government and their local council.

Last year we wrote “Bring Back the Whip! A Birthday Gift for William F Mangels” (ATZ, Feb. 1, 2011), which includes a Whip Census. If you know of any Whips not on the list, please let us know. It’s a shame that Coney Island, where this classic ride was invented in 1914, doesn’t have an operating Whip. If you want to ride it, you’ll have to take a trip to Rye Playland, Knoebels, Kennywood, Cedar Point, Trimper’s or any of the other parks or carnivals listed on ATZ’s Whip Census. The Whip was one of the first and most popular thrill rides. Old timers tell us there used to be quite a few Whips as well as quite a few carousels and roller coasters in good ol’ Coney Island. Wouldn’t it be fitting to have a Mangels Whip installed in Steeplechase Plaza next to Mangels’ B & B Carousell? It’s not in the plans, so we’ll add it to our wish list for 15th Street.

Whip Car

Mackie ‘Rides’ the Vintage Fairy Whip Car at the Coney Island History Project. May 22, 2010. Photo © Coney Island History Project via flickr

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January 28, 2012: Lost Delights of Coney Island: Frozen Custard

November 29, 2011: Fascination: From Coney Island to Nantasket Beach

November 15, 2011: Coney Island 2012: What’s New on the Boardwalk

October 6, 2010: Traveler: Where You Can Play Fascination Year Round

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